TEL AVIV

DESTINATIONS / MIDDLE EAST  / TEL AVIV

FACTS /  New York may be the ‘city that never sleeps’, but hip and hedonistic Tel Aviv seems even more suited to the nickname. This youthful city is on the go 24 hours a day. From dawn to dusk and again through to dawn, Tel Avivians are up and about, enjoying everything that this city has to offer. Its cafes, bars, restaurants and clubs throb with people, and in good weather the beachfront fills with bathing suit-clad revelers. Thanks to its liberal nature, the city is also a beacon for bohemian types, and once crumbling districts have been transformed into fashionable artsy and hipster neighborhoods. Tel Aviv was only founded in 1909, but boasts of architectural glories that defy its young age – in particular, the handsome façades of its Bauhaus structures.

 

STAY /  Named after Russian art critic Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev, founder of the Ballets Russes, the stylish Diaghilev hotel exudes creative spirit. Not only does the chic hotel accommodate guests, but it also functions as an art gallery, hosting ever-changing contemporary exhibits and various cultural events. It’s located in a Bauhaus building in Tel Aviv’s UNESCO-listed White City district and is within walking distance of all the restaurants, cafes and cool shopping boutiques of the Neve Tzedek neighborhood.

VIEW /  Tel Aviv’s Mediterranean sunset is legendary and watching it from the waterfront is the fastest way to fall in love with the city. As the sun sets the clouds afire and the horizon ablaze, it’s hard to not succumb to Tel Aviv’s charms. It’s especially atmospheric near the beachfront on Fridays and Saturdays, when an ensemble of bohemian drummers provide beats for the last light of the day. Crowds gather on the promenade and shore to admire the rays reflecting off the waves below and a festival atmosphere pervades.

PLAY /  You can’t experience the real Tel Aviv without donning a bikini or bathing suit and hitting the beach. The Mediterranean beachfront is integral to the city’s carefree appeal. It’s a prime people-watching spot and there is usually something happening here. Sunbathers tan themselves on the sand, surfers ride the waves and sporty beachgoers battle it out in ferocious games of matkot (paddleball). Be sure to stroll along the promenade too. It’s here where you’ll best get a sense of the city as walkers, joggers and cyclists pass and a motley crew of clowns, musicians, jugglers, hair-braiders and other street performers provide shoreside entertainment.

TASTE / A throwback to an earlier era, the Sarona complex is a thriving lifestyle center set in a 140-year-old German Templar settlement. There are galleries, restaurants, bars and shopping boutiques, as well as lots of gardens and green spaces. Among the highlights of the complex is the Tasting Room wine bar, where you can get acquainted with Israeli wines. This bar allows patrons to choose from a selection of 40-odd indigenous and international pours. Upon entry, you’ll be given a smart card, which you can use to operate the automated pouring system – so you can drink what you want and pay later.

BRIC'S Capri